(Last Updated on : 24/06/2014)
Kanpur was spelled as Cawnpore before 1948 and is the seventh most densely inhabited city in India and the most populous within the state of Uttar Pradesh, and in terms of area, Kanpur is the fifth largest city in India. It is also known as the Manchester of India. Kanpur is located on the banks of the river Ganga and is an important industrial center. Kanpur has an area of over 1600 km² and had a population of 4.13 million in the 2001 census. Owing to the city's industrial importance, one of the Reserve Banks of India was established in the city. Kanpur is also known as the economic capital of Uttar Pradesh.
Kanpur lies 83 km from Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur, along with Allahabad and Fatehpur, are part of the Lower Doab were known as the Vats country. Two main rivers of India, the Ganges in the northeast and the Pandu River in the south surround Kanpur. The districts surrounding Kanpur are Hamirpur in the south and Unnao in the northeast. Kanpur lies in northern plains of India and experiences extremes of temperature. The minimum temperature can be almost 0.5°C in the winters while it goes up to 49°C in summers. Kanpur experiences ruthless fog in December and January, resulting in massive traffic and travel delays. In summer excessive dry heat is accompanied by dust storms. Rains appear between the months of July and September almost at the end of regular monsoon season. Some rainfall is recorded during the harvest season of March-April.
History of Kanpur depicts the city to be a hotbed of change in the independence and literary movements during the 1900-1950 period. The largest shopping centre in Kanpur is the Navin Market, after the poet Bal Krishna Sharma aka "Navin". Later famous poets from Kanpur included Gopal Das "Niraj" who wrote songs for "Bollywood" movies. Kanpur is also the birthplace of the composer of the famous ditty Vijayee Vishwa Tiranga Pyara Shyamlal, Gupta 'Parshad'. The proliferation and popularisation of Hindi also owes much to this city, with great Hindu littérateurs such as Acharya Mahavir Parasad Dwivedi, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, Pratap Narain Mishra and Acharya Gaya Prasad Shukla 'Sanehi'. Kanpur is culturally rich and one of the most advanced education centers in India. The Agricultural University is named after the revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad and the Medical College after Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi. While Chandrashekhar 'Azad' shot himself when surrounded by a huge posse of British soldiers at Alfred Park, Allahabad, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi was killed during the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1931 at Machli Bazar in Kanpur. Kanpur has established its status amongst the Indian cities to be one of the most updated and contemporary cities.